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Examining the Evidence

Controlled-release paroxetine reduces hot flashes

August 2004 · Vol. 16, No. 8


To assess the effectiveness of paroxetine controlled release (CR), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), in relieving hot flashes among a general cross section of menopausal women.


After 6 weeks, mean daily hot flash frequency decreased from 7.1 to 3.8 for women receiving 12.5 mg/day paroxetine CR, from 6.4 to 3.2 for those taking 25 mg/day, and from 6.6 to 4.8 for women taking placebo.

Expert Commentary

The vasomotor flush is the hallmark of the female climacteric, experienced to some degree by up to 85% of postmenopausal women.Managing menopause-related depression and low libido”).

It is worth trying to titrate the dose to its lowest effective level because of a small but bothersome incidence of decreased libido. Added advantages with SSRIs are improvements in depression, anxiety, and sleep.


1. Oldenhave A, Jaszmann LJB, Haspels AA, Everaerd WTAM. Impact of climacteric on well-being. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993;168:772-780.

2. Lobo RA, McCormick W, Singer F, Roy S. Depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate compared with conjugated estrogens for the treatment of postmenopausal women. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1984;63:1-5.

3. Loprinzi CL, Michalak JC, Quella SK, et al. Megestrol acetate for the prevention of hot flashes. N Engl J Med. 1994;331:347-352.

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